Energy Manager of the Year Award

Each year Oregon APEM honors an outstanding example of energy management in action. We all look forward to the opportunity to highlight the contribution that one person or organization has made in the pursuit of a more energy efficient world. This award is especially meaningful because candidates are nominated by their peers who recognize the hard work and determination required to make real change in our community. The winner is announced at our winter forum.

Nominations forms for the 2017 Energy Manager of the Year Award will be Available Soon!

Past Energy Manager of the Year Award Recipients

2015 Energy Manager of the Year

Elin’s dedication to the field of energy efficiency and the results she has achieved led the Oregon APEM board to select her as the 2015 Energy Manager of the Year award winner. Colleen Collins, Oregon APEM’s 2015 President, was pleased to present the award to Elin during the 2015 Winter Forum held at the City of Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center. Winter Forum attendees had the benefit of hearing from the Energy Manager of the Year winner and Elin’s presentation was both inspirational and insightful. We had the pleasure of seeing the highlights in her journey into the world of energy efficiency.  Congratulations to Elin Shepard the 2015 Energy Manager of the Year winner!

2013 Energy Manager of the Year

APEM had several outstanding nominations for the 2013 Energy Manager of the year award. Each nominee submitted a summary of a project they had recently worked on. Board members reviewed each project and rated it based on how it directly related to energy savings, the impact the nominees project had on the energy management field, the role the nominee plays in the community, and their accomplishments within the energy management field. 

Chris Milan, a Mechanical Engineer with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) was selected as the 2013 recipient for his outstanding work on the North Pacific Paper Corporation (NORPAC) Interstage Screening Project. His roles included feasibly tests, site metering and data collection during the development stage, and energy savings measurement and verification during the implementation stage. Total project savings are approximately 104 million kWh per year with a project cost of $60 million with $24 million in conservation incentives. This was the largest industrial project in BPA history. Chris presented at the Winter Forum (see his presentation) and was then presented his award by Oregon APEM president Elin Shepard.

Congratulations Chris!

2012 Energy Manager of the Year

This years award was presented to Cathy Higgins at the 2012 Winter Forum.  Cathy is the Research Director at New Buildings Institute.  Cathy gave a presentation at the Forum about the work she has been doing at NBI which earned her the nomination and ultimately the award for 2012. There were a number of very deserving candidates and choosing a single winner was a challenge.

2011 Energy Manager of the Year

This year’s winner of Oregon APEM’s Energy Manager of the Year award is Armando Nunez, Energy Champion at the Albany, Oregon plant of the National Frozen Foods Corporation.  Armando began his career at National Frozen Foods in 2002 as a maintenance employee in the refrigeration and facilities department.  Although his background is in refrigeration and he doesn’t have formal energy training, Armando noticed inefficiencies at his plant and opportunities to save energy and money.  Taking the initiative, Armando asked his supervisor to share the utility data with him so that he could start tracking energy usage at the plant; he analyzed the data on his own time in the evenings and on weekends.  He began to present project ideas to upper management who were open to his ideas; eventually, approval was given for Armando to contact the Energy Trust of Oregon to begin the audit process.  

The ETO brought in Cascade Energy Engineers to perform an energy study which resulted in dozens of action items.  In 2009, a large upgrade of the plant refrigeration systems was completed which included the installation of a new compressor controls system.  Other energy related upgrades enacted include installation of LED lighting in cold storage areas, repairing the compressed air system to eliminate leaks, pump upgrades and many other improvements.  The facilities and refrigeration staff is now educated on the energy impacts of scheduling, daily habits and maintenance projects.

This type of progress cannot be made without the presence of management that supports the goals of energy efficiency.  National Frozen Foods Corporation, Albany Plant committed to reduce the total plant electrical usage by 20% by between April 2009 and May 2012.  To date, the plant is most of the way towards meeting this goal, having saved 1.7 million of the 2 million kWh savings target set in 2009.

Armando was recently promoted to System Plant Manager; in this role, he continues to advocate for energy efficiency projects at his plant, as well as traveling to other National Frozen Foods plants to educate and assist in the adoption of energy efficiency projects.  As the co-worker who nominated Armando stated in his nomination “Armando has become the Energy Champion at our facility… Armando has taken personal ownership of many projects and is constantly working at changing the culture at National Frozen Foods.” 
We are proud to recognize Armando Nunez as Oregon APEM’s Energy Manager of the Year for 2011.


2010-The Energy Manager of the Year Award for 2010 was given to the team at Portland Public Schools consisting of Catherine Diviney and Nancy Bond. Catherine is the Energy Specialist and Nancy is the Resource Conservation Specialist for the district. This District is the largest school district in the state with about 100 buildings averaging 65 years old. Being a large public entity entails much bureaucracy and fiefdoms that can often pose impediments to energy conservation efforts. Nevertheless Nancy and Catherine have successfully implemented behavioral conservation efforts, energy efficiency projects, and renewable energy generation projects. Specific projects include installing Solar PV on roofs of nine schools, installing high efficiency T8 fluorescent lights in all of their gymnasiums, roof insulation projects, boiler upgrades, and entering into a performance contracting agreement to generate energy savings. See Their Presentation

2009- As we are seeing some of the first guard of regional energy managers preparing to pass on the reins, this year’s Energy Manager of the Year award presented to two lifetime achievement awards: “Charlie” G.Z. Brown from the University of Oregon and John Kauffman from the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE).  Additionally James Winters of the Sabroso Company was awarded in the Commercial/Industrial category.

James Winters received his award for the work that Sabroso has done as part of Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (NEEA’s) Industrial Efficiency Alliance Continuous Improvement program.  In addition to the great teamwork and employee awareness activities that helped shift the employees’ behavior around energy at the plant, James shared the detailed energy stream value mapping that was produced to help identify where energy is used in specific manufacturing processes.

John Kaufman received the award in the Government category.  He gave a colorful entertaining history of tips and wisdom he has learned as an energy manager serving the state for the past 20 years.  Respected for his long-term thinking, Kaufman shaped the design and direction of Oregon’s energy future through his dedication and work at ODOE.
Charlie Brown received a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to our understanding of energy use in buildings - particularly in the field of daylighting to reduce energy use.  He has contributed to energy saving design efforts in over 10 million sq. ft.  of buildings.  Giving weight to the meaning of this award, Charlie Brown commented, “It is quite an honor to receive an award from an organization full of people who really know what they are talking about.”
2008 - Roger Ebbage & Staff at NW Energy Education Institute at LCC: Erik Westerholm, Elaine Vidal, Ginny Young -Institutional/Program Energy Manager of the Year Award: for their educational work in the field: for the their roles contributing to the excellence of our local (sometimes national and international) energy professionals. Roger, Ginny, Elaine, and Erik are the engine that powers the Northwest Energy Education Institute, and Lane Community Colleges Energy management and renewable energy technician programs. These programs are a core component to training many of our aspiring and renewing energy professionals and provide everything from continued education focused on building operation, certification in energy management, and a pair of Associates of Applied Science degrees in energy management and renewable energy. 

Tim Lammers, Columbia PUD - received Utility Energy Manager of the Year Award: for his work identifying, analyzing and securing funding for a lighting retrofit in the Scappoose School District. T-12 magnetic ballasts were replaced by T8s with electronic ballasts and HIDs were replaced by T5 electronic ballasts. All together the projects saved 267,000 kWh per year resulting in $12,520 in annual cost savings.

Earl Johnson, Spencer Moersfelder and Chris Galati - Commercial and Individual Category: for their work founding and running BSUG – Building Simulation Users Group – a peer based information and creative exchange among professionals working to promote the use of energy modeling as a design tool, share best practices and lessons learned. 

2007 - Governor Ted Kulongoski, President's Award: recognizing the Governor for his energy conservation leadership and significant  contributions towards reducing the impacts of global climate change. 

ODOE/SEED/Betty Merrill for the SEED team: Ann Hushagen, Glenn Hansen, Mike Rosenberg - Government/Institutional Energy Manager(s) of the Year: The SEED team is responsible for ensuring that all state funded new construction projects and major renovations exceed energy code by at least 20%. SEED projects allow state government to better utilize tax payer dollars by reducing operating costs by $2,700,000 per year. Additionally, SEED influences market transformation by requiring energy efficiency best practices in all projects. The energy saved by these projects helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy conservation and renewable energy systems. 

Dave Furr, Salem-Keizer Public School District - Government/Institutional: for his work decreasing overall energy use by $450,000 per year. Energy educational pieces included interfacing with the maintenance department, student Wattwatchers, a Car-Free Day (district wide participation in the city of Salem’s Transit promotion designed to reduce dependence on individual motor transportation and increase bus ridership), and an Energy Awareness Day (in partnership with ODOE, the City of Salem, and Salem Transit). 

Reid Hart, Eugene Water & Electric Board - Utility Manager of the Year: for his work with the western premium economizer and teaching at Lane Community College Energy Management Technician program and the NEEI Energy Management Certification

2006 - Brent Barclay, Columbia River PUD - Utility Manager of the Year 

2005 - No EMOTY's were awarded

2004 - Dave Cone, Gresham School District - Gov't/Institutional Energy Manager of the Year
             Buzz Thielemann - Commercial Energy Manager of the Year